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gravity

Gravitation, or gravity, … is most commonly recognized and experienced as the agent that gives weight to physical objects, and causes physical objects to fall toward the ground when dropped from a height. (Wikipedia)

I’m due to go back to work on 1 September this year after 12 months on maternity leave. Like most new mums I am nervous to step back in to the corporate world. Will I remember how to behave around adults, does my brain still function the way it used to, what milestones and firsts am I going to miss by being away from my son more often than not?

On top of everything else there is a huge amount of uncertainty about the role I’m returning to. The fact is, at the moment there is no role! My manager was made redundant a few months ago which would normally mean I too would be offered a payout and shown the door. But no, for the second time at this company they are making a new role for me and I’ll be moved somewhere else. I suppose in a way it’s a compliment, when it would be so easy for them to just let me go they are trying to find a role for me. But on the other hand, once again I will be forced to work with a new boss, a new team and it will be a big step down in terms of my place in the business. Part of me wishes that they would just take the decision out of my hands and let me go.

The other reason for not wanting to go back is that my 2 best girlfriends will be gone. One of them will be off on maternity leave by the time I return and the other has resigned from her role this week and will be gone long before I get back. I’ve already lost my other close friends from the company through resignations and redundancies so there will only be a couple of us left from the original group. Considering the social aspect of my job was what I liked most about this role, this definitely changes how I feel about being back there.

Like most other women I know, I need to work. It’s not a case of being able to say, I don’t want to go back, I’m going to quit. I need an income. My husband and I decided a long time ago that we didn’t want to pursue high paying executive roles. We want a lifestyle where we are both present. We don’t want to work late nights, weekends and holidays. We want to be home to see our son before bed every night. We have a great lifestyle in those regards and financially we are very comfortable, but it’s not enough to live on one income, we both need to be in the workforce.John Gardner

In the last few months it’s like a light bulb has come on in my head. I know exactly what I want to be doing. I know where I want to be, how it’s going to work and how amazing it’s going to feel. I can see the sun shining on the final destination but at the moment the path to this dream is still hidden in shadows. I’m afraid if I go back to work the monotony of everyday life is going to push clouds over that sun all together.

Izmael Arkin of tiny buddah says, when we pursue a dream, we are connecting with our heart’s desires. It’s a way of telling our soul “I love you.” Izmael quit his job as a middle school science teacher to follow his childhood dream, to become a ninja!

I am the first one to build up my friends and family and tell them to chase the sun so why am I so afraid to make a call and walk the same path? Might life be a little tough to start with? Probably. Will I have to go without materialistic things and luxury holidays for a little while? Certainly. I grew up living hand to mouth so the fear of being on struggle street hangs like a big chain around my neck.

But what if I succeed, what if making that big leap in to the dark is all it will take to live a lifetime in the sunshine? Is the pressure of success now as big a chain around me as the fear of failure? How much longer will I stand on the precipice afraid of the fall?

Maybe it’s finally time to start defying gravity…

the face of reality

I’ve just had another sleepless night. Remember when being up all  night and crawling in to bed at 5:30am covered in someone else’s vomit meant you’d had a really good night (except the vomit part, but it always made a good story later)? Not… any…  more.

Darling son was up from 12:30… Hungry? No. Wet? No. Needing cuddles? No. Some nights there is just nothing I can do to placate him.

Long before he was born I decided I only wanted one child. I know my husband and family hope I will change my mind but having my gorgeous, perfect little man has only strengthened my resolve that I never want to do it again. Any of it. The pregnancy was awful, the birth was awful, the post natal was awful and the ongoing sleep deprivation is awful.

I learnt a new term today, exhaustipated… when you are just too tired to give a shit. Sitting here on the lounge at lunch time still in my PJ’s, bub with his grandparents to give me a rest, I am totally and utterly EXHAUSTIPATED!

I had lunch with my mum and sister the other day. A rare opportunity to get dressed up, straighten my hair and put on some make up. As I got ready and looked at myself in the mirror I realised I didn’t recognise the woman staring bleary eyed back at me. Who is this loose, lumpy, puffy eyed, crows feeted, lost looking person? These days when I catch a reflection of myself it’s like looking at a stranger.

Image courtesy of glamasia.com

Image courtesy of glamasia.com

I think that’s been one of the biggest shocks of motherhood for me. Not the changes to my body which I expected but the changes to my face! All I can hope is that as the sleep improves (one day) so will my looks. It seems a trivial thing to worry about but I do miss the face I knew before. I can deal with the weakened bladder, the caesarean scar, the loss of core strength and the agonising post pregnancy menstrual cramps… but please give me back my face.

Each night I put him down peacefully in his cot hoping this is the night, this will be the night he sleeps. After 7 months of telling myself this lie how am I still surprised to be up with him 2 hours later? You would think I’d be wise to that old story by now. Motherhood is full of shocks and surprises. Sleep deprivation is just the most consistent.

But what’s the biggest shock of motherhood that I realise each and every sleepless night…? I am actually good at it. To my own surprise! Even in those dark depths of exhaustipation, I know I’m doing a good job. Who would have thought it?!

BUT THE FACE!!!

dream a little dream

It’s my third wedding anniversary today and I’ve just checked in to the Four Seasons for a romantic night with the husband. I’ve got about 2 hours to myself before he arrives so I’ve taken the obligatory photo of the amazing view from our harbour view suite and read a magazine over a cup of tea. I haven’t turned on the TV or radio, it’s quiet. The street noise and boat horns from Circular Quay are muffled by the 30 story distance down to the street.

The baby is at home with his Nana, my mum, and although I know she can easily manage him (she raised 4 kids practically single handed), I hope he’s not giving her a hard time. I was up with him all night last night.

I’m sitting at a beautiful big wooden desk in our room in silence, writing. I’m dreaming of a day when my life is one big holiday with time out taken in between walks on the beach and long lunches to write and do my work. You see, the beauty of being a writer is that I can do my work anywhere. I can write at home, in a hotel room, in a café, on the beach, in the air, on the road, out at sea… With the ability to connect to the world on line, I could be anywhere doing anything.

Image courtesy of The Travel Institute

Image courtesy of The Travel Institute

With the end of my 12 months maternity leave rapidly approaching I find myself dreaming about this lifestyle more and more. I miss the social aspect of my job but not the work. I miss the feeling of accomplishment and recognition for a job well done, but not the demands and office politics.

As I sit here at this big desk, looking out at the harbour, knowing the only schedule I’m on today is my own, I wonder, am I worthy of this dream? Do I have what it takes to make it come true? What will it take and am I brave enough to chase it?

It was easy to take big risks before the mortgage, before the baby. And although we are in a good place financially it’s not quite enough for me to quit my day job and focus entirely on my writing. But when will it be time? If we make a few sacrifices and put off buying a bigger house for a few years maybe we could do it. But is it fair to expect my husband and son to do without just so I can chase a dream?

I wish I was brave, like my friend the artist who quit office work to focus on her painting and is opening another solo art show tonight. Or like my sister who left retail to train and start her own business in fitness.

I want to be brave.

Dreaming is dreaming… When is the time for doing?

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